Bryce was a vivacious 6-year-old boy, who was well loved by all his family, friends, teachers, and classmates. He loved school and always helped out others in his class; even volunteering to make sure a new student could find his bus. He enjoyed playing outside and was just starting to learn how to play hockey. While looking back at pictures his family stated that they “have a hard time finding him without an ear to ear grin.” Bryce was a loving little guy and made sure that he gave his mom a hug and kiss every day before he caught the bus, even if he was late.
On March 25, 2012 Bryce fell out of a wagon while outside playing with his siblings, and stopped breathing. His father, Ian, started CPR and waited for the first responders to arrive. He was taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital where the doctors were stumped as to what happened. Bryce was then flown to Billings, MT where an MRI revealed that he had a rare condition called Chiari malformation which had caused his brain to slip down into his spinal column. After being air lifted to Seattle Children’s Hospital, Bryce fought for his life for five days before losing his battle.
When his family was asked if they wanted to donate Bryce’s organs, tissue, and corneas they didn’t hesitate. Only a few years prior they had been through the process when their niece, Gabby, who also became an organ donor. The family knew that by saying yes to donation they could spare others the pain that they were experiencing. Since his passing Bryce’s family has learned the many ways he has touched people in life, and death. Bryce was able to help a little boy in Colorado suffering from cardiomyopathy, a condition his grandmother also suffers from. Oddly enough Gabby’s heart went to Colorado as well. “We hope that maybe their hearts will someday know each other,” said his dad, Ian.
In addition, Bryce donated his liver to a young boy in Texas, one kidney to a girl in Washington state, and his other kidney to a man in New York. His corneas also restored the sight of two people; one in Washington state, and one in California. They could not find a recipient for Bryce’s lungs, but his family was relieved to hear that they were going to be used in research to test new delivery methods for asthma medication. Both of Bryce’s parents and his brother suffer from asthma, so in the future Bryce’s gift may help them as well.
“Knowing the many ways Bryce has helped others has given us solace. A friend of the family called Bryce a superhero, and he couldn’t be more accurate. Through all that he has done and all that he continues to do Bryce is, and always will be, our little Superhero.”